MANILA – The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons are running out of time to fulfill head coach Rey Madrid's promise of three victories in the UAAP Season 77 tournament, but point guard Mikee Reyes insists they are not giving up on their goal.
Madrid famously predicted prior to the season that the Maroons are capable of winning 3 games in the men's basketball tournament, but UP so far has only won 1 game – against Adamson at the end of the first round.
The Maroons blew a terrific chance to claim a second win when they lost to University of Santo Tomas, 65-77, on Wednesday. That game saw them get blown out in the fourth quarter after keeping in step with the Tigers for the first three quarters.
"This was our best chance to win one," admitted Reyes, who scored a game-high 22 points against UST but made only seven of 21 field goals. "We lost it. We'll see what happens the next game."
Three of UP's next four games will come against teams with Final Four aspirations – Far Eastern University, Ateneo and National University.
They will wrap up the season against Adamson in what will be the final game of the elimination round.
"We can't stop trying until that last game against Adamson," said Reyes, who scored a season-high 28 points when the Maroons beat the Soaring Falcons in the first round – their first win in 2 years.
"We need one more game before that. The best chance to win is against Adamson, of course, but we need to get one against Ateneo, FEU or NU," he added.
"They're big teams," Reyes said, "Mas masarap siguro if we get one against them."